THE squabbling in the governing party, Zanu PF, would have made my day had it not been that those quarrelling individuals form what we know as the Government of Zimbabwe.
It is pathetic to note that there is nothing as tragic to a nation as having adults in government who exhibit kindergarten tendencies through squabbling over trivialities. And what is more puzzling is that these people claim to be speaking on behalf of the leader, President Robert Mugabe, who appointed them.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers three important definitions of government: the process or manner of controlling a country, state; a particular system used for controlling a country, state; and the group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state. So are these people trying to show us that our government is so unique they want to showcase to the world that the correct system of governing a country is through quarrelling over personality differences?
Are they trying to spite us by showing that those who voted them into power (unless, of course, they voted themselves into power) mandated them to be a group of people whose decision-making is centred on trivial quarrels? What exactly are they trying to achieve as people in government —nonsense?
Harold Damerow, a professor of government and history, rightly points out that the government is a steering mechanism for a given society to keep that particular society focused in the right direction. He also notes that the government is primarily responsible for making public policy for an entire society.It is truly disheartening to note that our government, because of discord caused by personality clashes, is letting us down on policy issues.
Judging from the policy discord characteristic of our government, we can safely say these men and women have failed to come up with policies to guide the nation in the right direction. We only have to note the quarrels concerning the indigenisation policy to note how real this has become and the negative effects on investment. Before the ink has even dried on the newly-crafted science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) policy, for instance, we hear these guys accusing each other of trying to sabotage its implementation. What kind of government is this?
One of the primary functions of a government is to make people relate to each other. But then, how do we expect people who cannot relate among themselves to guide members of society to relate? One has to take cognisance of the hate speech emanating from these people to understand that they are not fit to be anyone’s role model or to hold government positions for that matter. Some even waste acres of precious space in the media spewing vitriol at each other. We no longer expect to hear news concerning development, but to hear news about who has told who that he or she is an idiot. And these people are supposed to be policymakers.
They have now gone a notch higher, hiring or intending to hire thugs against each other. They now want to make the fights real. Cry, our beloved Zimbabwe. If this is a diversionary tactic from real issues such as corruption, demolition of people’s houses, a wasted economy etc, then it has gone too far, it is not a game anymore, as they say. The people are suffering.
And we honestly believe that such people can create the 2 million-plus jobs they promised? Perhaps the frustration of failure has made them turn against each other in a childish manner.
Government needs professionals because professionals can work even with enemies and the opposition to achieve a national purpose. Perhaps we may ask: What is their purpose for being in government? Maybe it is to quarrel with each other.The puzzling thing is that these people are supposed to have gone to school. We believe that schooling makes one wise, but these people do not exhibit wisdom through their quarrels. They try to outdo each other through pedestrian insults fit for a marketplace like Jambanja in Chitungwiza, attempting to prove that the next fellow is the fool. But as “educated” people, are they not aware of the old adage that there is essentially no difference between a fool and one who argues with that fool?
If these guys spend most of their time crafting words to insult their fellow comrades in government, when will they find time to craft and implement policies for the benefit of the nation? And when the individuals claim that they all quarrel on behalf of their leader who appointed them, what exactly are they trying to insinuate?
It is tragic that these people do not care a hoot about the image of the government or the welfare of the people. And with such people forming the backbone of our government, the irony is that we then wish to be considered as decision makers in international bodies such as the United Nations. We should not cry foul when such international groupings tell us to keep our circus show in our own country.
Maybe someone out there is benefiting from the quarrels, but definitely not the people of Zimbabwe. So the question will remain: Who benefits from the squabbling?
l Kamurai Mudzingwa writes in his personal capacity. Feedback firstname.lastname@example.org